Christmas chill on Oxford Street? declares the BBC website this week... and they're not talking about the weather.
Yes, it's that time of year again, when all those high street scare stories make thier festive appearance and the BBC is shamelessly leading the way with statements like this:
The smell wafting down London's most famous shopping street isn't just that of roasting chestnuts - it's of high street desperation.
What does high street desperation smell like do you think? Does it smell the same in M&S as it does in Ann Summers for instance?
Full marks have to go to the BBC though for namechecking "Evangelist Phil" who they report "is busy berating the city's sinners through a megaphone."
Apart from Phil and his congregation, Oxford Street is empty claims the Beeb, thanks mainly to internet shopping and places like Bluewater... oh and terrorism of course.
The FT meanwhile is on a slightly more optimistic note, reporting that the number of visitors to the West End rose 8.5 per cent this past weekend. Not that surprising really as Ken had decided to close off Oxford Street and Bond Street to traffic.
According to the FT "half a million people piled into the West End at the weekend," and this is backed up by a quote from Natasha Burton, marketing manager for Footfall ("the leading provider of customer counting technology and statistics"), who says the increase in shoppers is "very promising for London retailers. It has demonstrated that consumers want something more than just a shopping trip - they want to turn it into a special event".
No one wants to turn thier Xmas shopping trip into a 'special event'. They don't want to spend the entire day traipsing round town with huge, unweildy bags having to avoid the seasonal influx of pickpockets and charity clipboard people. THEY WANT TO GO HOME AND EAT MINCE PIES!
Finally in 'Xmas shopping news' this week The Times warns Shops braced for Christmas Eve rush.
Yes, surprising as it may seem, "a last-minute Christmas Eve dash" is expected, and we know this because analysts" have predicted it.
And their main clue? Christmas Eve is on a Saturday this year.
How much are they paying these analysts exactly?